The following items are from our GetHiking! enewsletters for Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle, and our GetExploring! Greenville enewsletter. All enewsletters are delivered, upon request, to subscribers’ email boxes on Mondays. If you’d like to sign up for this free service, email

This month’s adventures: Hikes, camping clinic

Occoneechee Mountain (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)
Occoneechee Mountain (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)

For the summer, at least, we’ll provide glimpses of hikes and other events scheduled throughout the GetHiking! universe — in Charlotte, the Triad, the Triangle. Here’s what’s happening in July:

  • GetHiking! on the Cedar Ridge Trail at Doughton Park, Longbottom Road Access, Blue Ridge Parkway, Friday, July 10, 9 a.m. This 8.6-mile out-and-back is very challenging, very rewarding. More info here.
  • GetHiking! at Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough, Sunday, July 12, 10 a.m. A 2.5-mile hike, mostly on the Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail, with a rare Piedmont vista and a visit to the Appalachians. Bonus second hike. More info here.
  • GetHiking! Sunday Evening Hike at Umstead State Park, Raleigh, Sunday, July 12, 5:30 p.m. 4.3-mile goodbye-to-the-weekend hike on the Reedy Creek and Loblolly trails. More info here.
  • GetHiking! Early at Umstead, Umstead State Park, Raleigh, Wednesday, July 15, 7:30 a.m. Beat the heat with an early 4.3-mile hike that will have you off the trail by 9 a.m. More info here.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIntro to Car Camping, Great Outdoor Provision Co., 2017 Cameron St., Raleigh, Wednesday, July 22, 7 p.m.. Intrigued and intimidated by car camping? You shouldn’t be — and you won’t be after attending this clinic touching on basic gear, camp protocol and great campgrounds in North Carolina. More info here.
  • GetKayaking at Beaverdam Lake, Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Saturday, July 25, 9 a.m. A little out of our normal milieu, but what the hey, it’s hot. Got a boat? Bring it. Need a boat? Consult the Meetup site for rental information. More info here.
  • Paddling Town Common. Friday evening we’ll get a jump on the weekend with an evening paddle on the Tar River from Town Common to Port Terminal. We’ll set a shuttle and plan to be on the water by 7:30 p.m., hopefully to enjoy a colorful paddle into sunset. If this sounds like fun but you don’t have a kayak, call Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Greenville at 252.321.1308 and perhaps something can be arranged. Every paddler must have a PFD, whistle and light. For more information and to sign up, visit our GetExploring! Greenville Meetup site

This month’s Classic Hike: Shining Rock

SR.OpenMeadowOur GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series this month visits a North Carolina favorite: Shining Rock.
As usual, the hike will consist of two hikes: a Short Hike clocking in at 8.3 miles, a Long Hike at 9.3 miles. The key difference between the two is the Long Hike includes two climbs on the return: over Tennent Mountain and Black Balsam.
Thanks in large part to shabby lumbering practices in the early 1900s that lead to a pair of devastating forest fires, the Shining Rock area consists mostly of heath and meadow making for a plethora of great views. On a clear day, this is one of the best hikes in the Southeast.
The hike is Saturday, July 18. For more information on this hike and on the GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series, a fee program, start here, at the GetHiking! Triangle Meetup.

June’s adventures: Short and long

In June, we had short hikes, we had long hikes, we had early hikes, we had hikes that explored section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail through the Triad, and we hiked the Black Mountains, the highest mountain range east of South Dakota’s Black Hills, on the perfect day to be hiking atop the East Coast.
Some shots from our June jaunts …

GH.Volks DSCF1131 DSCF0928

Deal of the week: Fit for a water bottle

Who doesn’t like to check out new gear? Now imagine getting a freebie for doing something you already like to do!

Here’s the deal: Come into one of Great Outdoor Provision Co.’s seven shops statewide, try on the new Osprey Atmos backpack (for men, the Aura for women), get a free stainless steel water bottle. The Atmos features Osprey’s new “Anti-Gravity” suspension system, which creates a more natural fit on your back, making it easier to move around with 35 pounds on your back. Trying one on just to experience that feeling on a hike around the store would be worth it alone. And you get a free stainless steel water bottle!

Swing by Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Sunday 1 to 6 p.m.

Wanted: Hike leaders

brb-21Here’s the deal: We want you to lead hikes. As we start to plan for the fall we’re looking for folks eager to lead hikes short and long. Not a fast hiker? Perfect! Our hikes are lead from the rear, assuring that no hiker is left behind. As long as you know the trail and can explain the route — especially any quirks — to the faster hikers, that’s all we ask.
Well, that’s not all — if you’re interested, we’ll send you our hike leader guidelines, which are simple and few and not at all restrictive. Select your own hikes or we’ll help you figure one (or more) out.
Interested? Contact me at

Gear of the week: Hubba Hubba NX Tent

Hubba-Hubba-280x280For the next few weeks, our gear recommendations will come Lindsey and Andrew in Great Outdoor Provision Co.’s store in Greenville. Their suggestions come from their planned through-hike of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail this fall. This week’s recommendation: the MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent.

This tent from MSR is truly top-of-the-line. The two-person version weighs in at 3 pounds, 7 ounces, very light for a free-standing tent! This tent was redesigned for 2014 to reduce weight and add more liveable space. The body and poles are packed separately, making it incredibly easy to split weight between two individuals.  It is also incredibly easy to set up with the hub system on the poles and color-coded tabs at the corners. This tent received Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year Award for 2014.  This tent costs $399.95, and includes a lifetime warranty on the poles.

Tip of the Week: Hiking etiquette

2-mann0213-feb-13-art-gvobiiu3-12-mann0213-feb-13-imgJust because we’re in the wild doesn’t mean we have to act wild. A little etiquette on the trail can go a long way toward enhancing the experience for all. To wit, these suggestions from the American Hiking Society:

  • Hike quietly. Speak in low voices and turn your cell phone down, if not off. Enjoy the sounds of nature and let others do the same.
  • If taking a break, move off the trail a ways to allow others to pass by unobstructed.
  • Don’t toss your trash – not even biodegradable items such as banana peels. It is not good for animals to eat non-native foods and who wants to look at your old banana peel while it ever-so-slowly decomposes? If you packed it in, pack it back out.
  • Hikers going downhill yield to those hiking uphill.
  • Leash your dog. When bringing a pet on a hike, be sure to keep it on a leash and under control. Don’t forget to pack out pet waste as well — all the way out; don’t just bag it and leave it by the trail, as has become popular practice, awaiting a poop patrol that doesn’t exist.

Resource of the Week: More etiquette

The American Hiking Society has more thoughts on the topic of trail etiquette, which you may read and memorize here.